Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Marsh Orchids and Various

I started the day right with lots and lots of Orchids. The majority of them were Northern Marsh Orchids, and there could well have been up to 3000 spread about. Also I do believe at this site there is also Southern Marsh Orchid. Here are some of the photos, please click over to enlarge.

In the afternoon I moved over to Lancelot Clark Storth on Hutton Roof/Dalton Crags side. Here also there seemed to be lots going on with at least Ten, Pearl Bordered Fritillaries Butterflies, One Common Blue. Also lots of Common Cow wheat (but no so common), Common Milkwort, Bloody Cranesbill and first showing of Eyebright.
The Lily of the Valley have finished in flower. Heres some photos from this afternoon.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

White Moss Tarn and The Lion and the Lamb - Grasmere

On Wednesday last (25th May 2011) had walk from Ambleside to Grasmere, heading through Rothay Park and alongside the Rothay as far as Rydal, then crossing over the road and heading up to Rydal Mount, and going across the back of Rydal Mount along the Coffin Route, above White Moss and then alongside the Old Whitemoss Tarn and finally coming down past Dove Cottage to Grasmere.

Of Special Interest was "White Moss Tarn" also known as Skater's Tarn or Wordsworth's Tarn.

You can see from the photo there is plenty of growth within the Tarn, but in recent times work has had to be carried out to try and control the New Zealand Pygmy Weed (which is also know as Australian Stonecrop- Crassula helmsii) The Pygmy Weed grows explosively and out competes the native vegetation and causes choking up.

The Tarn is also noted for its literary associations with William Wordsworth who liked to ice skate here. It is also featured in his poem "Resolution and Independence" as the site where he encountered the Leech-Gatherer.

Moving on and past Dove Cottage we crossed over the main road and along the back of the Grasmere Sports Field, here I found at one of the three entrances, a very large population of "Yellow Rattle" (see photo), and here was also a grand place to look up to our right and take in the mighty rock figures of the "Lion and the Lamb", that very summit of "Helm Crag" which looks down on the village of Grasmere as if to be a "guardian". We often see it on our way through "Dunmail Raise" heading to Keswick, but todays viewpoint was probably about the best.. Please click over photograph once to enlarge or click again to supersize.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Storth Woods at Dalton Crags - Thursday May 19th 2011

0845hrs to 1030hrs.

Had a check through Storth Wood at Dalton Crags. Blackcap singing well North of Summer House ruins. Lots of Yellow Pimpernel showing especially close to the forestry tracks. Also found lots of Bugle and Ground-Ivy. Also had Grey Squirrel, Green Veined White Butterfly, Bullfinch piping and a Garden Warbler.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Grasmere to Ambleside via Red Bank, Deerbolt, Loughrigg Terrace on Wednesday May 11th 2011.

Another nice walk which we do regular from Grasmere to Ambleside, whilst going through Deerbolt Woods and onto the sides of Loughrigg Terrace overlooking both Grasmere and Rydal Water and then following the River Rothay past Fox How to Ambleside.

Many of our favourite Warblers where heard singing strong, many Blackcaps (maybe up to 6 or more), Willow Warblers (many), and perhaps some 5 Chiffchaffs. Also I had 3 Redstarts along the route at various points (typical Redstart habitats).

The Cuckoo was calling, this time from behind Deerbolt Wood and further up on the side of Loughrigg, in past years I have had it calling but more in the direction close to the Rydal Caves. Also there was presence of Redpoll closeby the Caves.

Whilst going along the terrace you could not help but hear the many Tree Pipits singing away, I counted a minimum of ten birds, so obviously this has to be one of their strongholds.

Also another treat whilst on the terrace, only a couple of hundred yards after leaving Deerbolt was to find both Common Butterwort and also a small population of Yellow Saxifrage, both within one yard of each other, and immediately on the side of the footpath (within a yard or so), but also very close to a small water course traversing down the Fellside.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Burton Fell via Pickles Wood, Hutton Roof on Tuesday May 10th 2011

Please click over sketches or photo to enlarge. On way up to Burton Fell today, called off to area just below Pickles Wood and noticed my first sighting of the year of "Crosswort" (see photo below) with at least three large populations.

Then up to Burton Fell were there was lots of Bluebells, Ramsoms, Woodruff, Dogs Mercury, Tormentil and Common Milkwort.

Also at the higher levels of Burton Fell I had no less than eleven singing Willow Warblers.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Lily of The Valley - Cow Wheat Etc - Lancelot Clark Storth

I did have a new Garden Warbler singing closeby to Pear Tree Cottage at Dalton 0730hrs. I decided today to have a walk up Slape and checkout some of the Limestone Pavements for Lily of The Valley (1st photo below) and I was not to be dissapointed. I did find quite a large colony in the Lancelot Clark Storth Area. Also closeby was some Common Cow Wheat (2nd photo below) which I also found again within some 200 yards. (Please click over the photos to enlarge)

Probably the most striking thing today was all the Warblers, Robins, Dunnocks etc singing together and blending in a sort of "dawn chorus" which carried on throughout the morning. I am sure this was the birds showing how happy they where, because there had been much required rains the previous night which totally refreshed everywhere. Even the misbeat calling "Chiffchaff" was singing his little dittie....

Checked out the Alpine Ladys Mantle ( 3rd photo below), and there was several closeby populations.

1500hrs & 1700hrs I am sure the Swifts must have come in today in masses, I had about 12 circling above the River Kent in Kendal and also had 4 circling over Milnthorpe a little later on. 5 of the Burton birds where noticed the following morning (8th May 2011)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Thrang & Yealand Allottments - Pearl Bordered Fritillary - Small Heaths etc.

First job on arrival at Thrang Moss/ White Moss (0900-1040hrs) was to check out the "Toothwort" which is clearly this year two separate flowers being hosted by the nearby Hazel. Its obviously now past its best. Blackcaps seemed to be singing from everywhere, some within so close a distance that their sound was very much intermingled with other birds. Throughout I had 2 Garden Warblers, 7 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff and 13 singing Willow Warblers.

Other flora: Check on the existing site for Herb Paris and found another two separate sites for this species. Also Welsh Poppy, Ramsons, Ivy Leaved Speedwell, Greater Stitchwort, Dog Violets, Red Campion, Silverweed, Cowslips, Garlic Mustard, Dandelion, Dogs Mercury, Barren Strawberry, Ladys Mantle, Bittercress, Herb Robert, Bullrush, Wood Sorrell, Yellow Flag (leaves only) and Bugle.

Also a distant Cuckoo was heard to the far South of the area, Mistle Thrush, Buzzards, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and a yaffling Green Woodpecker.

From 1045hrs-1200hrs I was over at the closeby Yealand Allottments (entry from Storrs side).
There was lots of fine specimens of Early Purple Orchids throughout, tormentil getting hold well, and very suprised to find a early showing Pearl Bordered Fritillary male butterly, feeding on the tormentil. Also there were perhaps up to a score of Small Heaths about and the odd Green Veined White.

Willow Warblers and Blackcaps could be heard singing nearby.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Cuckoo now back at Dalton Crags (deforested) 4th May 2011

Had a stroll from Dalton Lane, and checked out some Hairy Rockcress which I actually saw the other evening. There was at least 30-40 specimens at the Crags close to the Beech Woods... then up to the deforested area and onto the Common to the Trig and return. (Click over sketches to enlarge)

Tree Pipits, Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers all doing well. The Blackcaps have certainly took a backseat in relation to their vocal chords, now the Garden Warblers are back in full force. Also had 3 Buzzards, Linnets on Common, A single Wheatear (European) was on the wall to the right as you enter the deforested. Also had Kestrel, Redpoll and one Swallow overhead.

Early Purple Orchids where out in force on the common with over 50 flowerheads, also had Bluebells, Speedwells and more Angular Solomons Seal, Herb Robert now plentiful, Birdsfoot Trefoil and Tormentil starting to come through.

And below is what I think maybe a Stonecrop? and the bottom photo is the head of a Hairy Rockcress.

Just look at the crazing caused through the hot dry weather on the forestry paths

Monday, 2 May 2011

Dockacres - Sedge Warblers and lots of Willow Warblers.

(Please click over notes to enlarge).
Dockacres had three calling Sedge Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, and 17 calling Willow Warblers, also 3 Blackcaps and 1 Garden Warbler.
Also today at Wray In Bottom (1100hrs) I had two Swift moving through the Lune Valley, and also there were several House Martins back on territory at Wray.